Quo Vadis?

from by Paul Kerschen

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Indeed, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink from human beings and thirst after water. Indeed, gates, columns and walls are burnt up, while the hall of the palace stands firm and endures. Indeed, the ship of [the southerners] has broken up; towns are destroyed and Upper Egypt has become an empty waste. Indeed, crocodiles [are glutted] with the fish they have taken, for men go to them of their own accord; it is the destruction of the land. Men say: "Do not walk here; behold, it is a net."


the thief and the forger
they slipped across the border
the hours and the quarters
the screaming of the shorebirds
noontide in torpor
the days are getting shorter
the thief and the informer
reduce you all to order

thieves and informers
are waiting at the border
back you in a corner
reduce you all to order
shaking with the horrors
the thief and the explorer
screaming like the shorebird
it speaks an awful order

shells and the mortars
are massing at the border
scream like the shorebirds
reduce you all to horror

quo vadis?

can't lose myself in yourself
can't lose yourself in myself


from Oil and Water, released December 1, 2008



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Paul Kerschen Berkeley, California

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